Instant Ideas and Collaboration
Chairing chat sessions has tested everything from my typing speed to online social skills, as I have attempted to draw out promising ideas from the busy chatter on Twitter, picking up the best ideas, which all seem to appear without the requisite hashtag(!), and working out when to drop in a supplementary question. Long seem the moments with one finger hovering reluctantly over the return key and wondering if the tweet I am about to send will cause a lively conversation brimming with ideas to unexpectedly stall. If nothing else, taking part in chats has helped me develop an appreciation for when I am saying something out loud that makes sense only to myself and is better suited to a blog post where I can relate the entire inner monologue that led to the idea.
Quite apart from chat, nothing focuses one’s mind on the future like deciding a plan of action through online chat or deciding what the most pressing challenges are facing the profession and how these could be framed to allow a meaningful discussion. There is a genuine excitement during those long pauses as my fellow committee members come together over a blank spreadsheet to decide where next for upcoming chats, cast our collective mind back over our professional reading, conversations, themes for upcoming events and other straws in the wind to identify the next big topics in librarianship that would benefit from a public airing between professionals sharing their expert opinion, analysis, knowledge and inspiration. So far we seem to have done all right – but if there is a topic we are missing that you want to chat about, please drop us @uklibchat a tweet or message us and let us know!